I’ve been thinking about what it means to be diverse and inclusive a little lately. This week at bible study the pastor shared how one of his Facebook friends (also a pastor) shared his top 5 preachers. They were men he knew personally and loved their preaching style. The Facebook pastor then offered an apology sometime later for not being inclusive. People said “Why aren’t there any women?” Although hard in 2017, what if he didn’t know any women pastors? In addition, its his personal list! He can choose whomever he wants.
Now I believe that women are great preachers. I have friends that are, but I cannot understand why this man must in his personal list must be inclusive. Hear me out. I think its crazy to believe that every Christian in this country is inclusive in their personal lives. No Christian says “okay I must have a black friend, a white friend, an Asian friends, a Hispanic friend, a gay friend, a friend with a disability, a Muslim friend, a Jewish friend, a rich friend, and a poor friend.” That just doesn’t makes sense and isn’t even practical in certain areas of the country.
I believe that I am called not to exclude, not necessarily be inclusive. There is a difference. I do not go out of my way to find these people to make sure they are represented but I would never turn them away based on characteristics they cannot control. I think God tells us to open ourselves up to different types of people. That doesn’t mean I absolutely have to go seek them out. If I am truly welcoming they will come. I think there is something artificial about making sure everyone is represented when you would not interact with those people on any other day. (I do believe that churches must learned how to be more open in the cultural aspects in order for people to feel comfortable but that’s a different blog.)
I would never tell something they cannot be my friend or they cannot come to my church because they do not belong. Romans 12:16 tells us to live in harmony with one another. I don’t know how I would feel if someone tried to be my friend just because I’m black or because I’m a women. I wouldn’t feel very harmonious.
I may be totally off with this one and if thats true, pray God reveals the truth to me. This is just what I have today.
In the mean time, God is good y’all